Women who donate their eggs for use with in vitro techniques aren’t supposed to be compensated more than $10,000, the Wall Street Journal's Health blog reported Wednesday.
And the amount paid isn’t supposed to vary based on characteristics of the donor, according to guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
But a new study, published in a report from the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics institute, looks at egg-donor advertisements placed in 306 college newspapers for a glimpse of what actually be going on.
The results show that nearly a quarter of the ads placed by egg-donation agencies and private couples violate the $10,000 guideline.
Compensation also goes up with the SAT scores of the average incoming student at the colleges where the ads were published. For each 100-point increase in scores, compensation offers in the ads increased by $2,350, the study found.
The study’s author, Aaron Levine of Georgia Tech, points out that what the ads offer isn’t necessarily what donors actually receive in compensation. But he still concludes that “many clinics do not comply with this component of the ethical guidelines.”
Sean Tipton, a spokesman for ASRM, said the cap exists partly so donors aren’t coerced into donating by larger payments. But egg-donor recruiters aren’t part of ASRM so the group has no direct sway over them.